The Brick House
The Brick House Story
The Brick House was the Vermont home of Shelburne Museum’s founder Electra Havemeyer Webb and her husband James Watson Webb from 1913 to 1960. Located about two miles from the Museum, it is a 40-room masterpiece of the Colonial Revival style with sweeping, awe-inspiring views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
The house was a wedding gift to the Webbs in 1913. Over the next decade Mrs. Webb directed two additions to the building to transform what had been a modest early 19th-century farmhouse into an understated yet imaginative and romantic country home. At first the house was used primarily as a retreat for fox hunting, but as Electra Webb’s collection grew she used the house’s rooms to experiment with different ideas for displaying art and decorative arts. The Brick House was in effect a proto-museum, and many of its decorating and exhibition themes were transferred to Shelburne Museum in the late 1940s and ’50s.
Creative combinations at the Brick House of early-American furniture, textiles, English ceramics, historic wallpapers, and a range of folk, fine, and decorative arts influenced not just the development of Shelburne Museum but also the tastes of major collectors of the period, including Henry Francis du Pont, the founder of Winterthur, who credited a 1923 visit to the Brick House with his decision to begin collecting American antiques.
The Brick House is unique both as an influential example of the Colonial Revival style and as a rare surviving home of a major American museum founder.
Programs at the Brick House
A Tour of Two Country Houses: Brick House and Shelburne House (Inn at Shelburne Farms) 1-4 p.m. on Friday, September 12, 2014 and Saturday, October 4. $40; $35 for Museum and Shelburne Farms Members.
Information and reservations: (802) 985-3346 x3368 or email@example.com. shelburnefarms.org
Weddings and Events
The Brick House, and its beautiful grounds, pastoral surroundings, and commanding lake and mountain views, is a peerless site for weddings and special event rental functions. Availability is limited.